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Frank Mahony: Super-Seniors at the DMV


Frank Mahony

Frank Mahony

Super-Seniors at the DMV

10/21/2010   Comment on This

So, I’m at the DMV the other day waiting forever to get my eye exam, get my picture taken and get the hell outta there. As you know, this is a 45 minute ordeal on a good day and an hour plus when you’re in a hurry – I was.

As I was sitting in the many rows of chairs, bored out of my mind, I glanced at the organ donor pamphlet they handed me on the way in. The picture of a super enthusiastic, smiling Jessie White is a little creepy to me. It’s a good program that saves lives, but Jessie looks a little too excited to get his claws on my lungs and liver. He needs to tone it down a little and look more somber like the funeral parlor guys.

As everyone sits down, they leave a little buffer between themselves and the next person. Some people are in groups of three. why does it take three or more people to get a driver’s license?

Being a scary looking guy – I get an entire row to myself – which is fine by me.

I’m bored with Jessie and everything else in this place in about 3 minutes. Then I start noticing the sizable number of people that I'm suspecting are 90+ years old getting licenses. There is no specific age when you aren't able to drive. For some people, I'm sure they can drive and function into their 90s. Other people probably shouldn't be driving in their 70s. Common sense should prevail here.

Hang on! That guy who is shuffle-walking like the Tim Conway character and can’t hear anything is going to re-new his DRIVING privileges and nobody is saying “NO” - ???

“Sir, can you please read the second line of the eye chart.” Tim Conway looks up from the eye exam machine, he stares at the DMV employee still squinting and says nothing. After about 10 seconds he looks back down into the machine. He knows somebody is talking to him but cannot figure out who and he cannot understand one word. “Sir, can you see the second line?” Again, no response... HOW is this guy able to drive?

The lady with the cane, who can walk about 6 feet at a time and then needs to stop to rest for a minute, is also going to continue to drive? She is so frail, that it took her more than a minutes to figure out how to hang on to something to sit down in a chair. How could she possibly brake quickly or swerve to avoid something?

All these super-seniors are accompanied by a younger person (presumably a daughter) who is supporting this process.

They can’t see, can’t hear and can barely move. How do they possibly belong behind the controls of a one ton steel projectile, moving at 30-70 miles per hour, filled with twenty gallons of flammable liquid?

I blame the family for not putting their foot down when grandma and grandpa are too “out of it” to understand that they are no longer road worthy. When they are at that point, tell them you WILL NOT help them renew their license. If they get mad and “take you out of their will” – so be it.

At least you can sleep at night knowing you have protected the kids standing at the bus stop.


1 response to Super-Seniors at the DMV

User: Malcolm Rosenfeld
commented at: 1/14/2011 2:16:51 PM
Hi Frank, I spent 4 hours on a Monday after Christmas in Deerfield DMV so my daughter to test for her license. Her birthday is the 19th and this is the first day they are open after she turns the required 16 years old. In fact I had to search for a DMV that is open on Monday as most of them are closed if they have Saturday hours. So, I guess everyone but me knows that Monday morning is the worst day in the world for the DMV. If I had known it would not have made any difference. Samantha was locked in on driving alone by Monday afternoon, come hell or high water. You noticed all the elderly people. I noticed all the 16 somethings. The generation gap hit home. Every person under about 20 stood in the never ending line to check in texting non stop. They never look up, never take a glance to see if the line is moving. They stand head down, fingers flying, shuffle forward as the lines move, text some more, and more and more. Why do they have so mush to say? Why do they have to be in constant contact with someone? The fact is that if they never look up, never look around, they miss the entire world around them. They never even notice how many elderly people are still allowed to reup. They never notice that English is not the language of choice around them. They never notice the interesting differences in dress code choices. One woman of eastern European descent looked like she was going to the opera. They see nothing but their little bitty screens. We are creating a monster out of our young people and I have no idea if it is going to be a good thing or not. My family drove to Denver this Summer and neither of my kids looked out the window for more than 5 minutes.


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